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Improving Transportation Systems Management and Operations – Capability Maturity Model Workshop White Paper – Organization and Staffing

6. Best Practice Examples

As noted above, several workshop States have undertaken some degree of reorganization typically involving consolidation of multiple TSM&O-related branches within headquarters (e.g., ITS, traffic operations, TMCs, safety service patrol, and safety). These functions typically remain at the branch level but consolidated reporting to a single division is introduced. In some cases, the reporting relationships to headquarters from the larger metropolitan districts, often organized around TMCs, also have been modified. Very few States have a top-level TSM&O division or program.

Colorado DOT: Division of Transportation System Management and Operations Reorganization. The most complete reorganization for TSM&O has taken place at Colorado DOT (CDOT), which has formed a new top-level unit – the Division of TSM&O – to provide focus for the agency’s commitment to TSM&O. This division was formed by consolidating previously separate branches, the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Traffic Engineering, and Safety Branches, from the Division of Staff Branches to the Division of TSM&O. In addition, a wide range of programs that were previously separate (some at the regional level) were brought under the new division, including ramp metering, HOV/HOT operations, and integration of previously separate TMCs. These changes are described in a reorganization report that also identified the need for new technical staff to fill out the needed core staff capabilities. In addition, the reorganization brought with it the introduction of a formal “operations clearance review” process to ensure that TSM&O was appropriately considered where relevant to new capital projects. The CDOT Transportation System Management and Operations Reorganization Report currently is unavailable online but is a useful reference that can be obtained by contacting the department.

Colorado DOT University. The Corporate University for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOTU) is a system of training programs that delivers both general and specialized curricula to CDOT staff. It operates on a federation model that is organized by four clusters of business units related to CDOT’s principal program areas. These “colleges” are unified by a common set of policies, standards, operating practices, and core administrative services and delivers curriculum material in response to identified program-related needs defined by staff and management. The training uses available instructional materials, original material as appropriate, and a full range of instructional methods. CDOT is currently in the process of building a TSM&O-related curriculum. Contact CDOT directly to learn more.

Maryland State Highway Administration: CHART Program. The CHART (Coordinated Highways Action Response Team) program is the Maryland State Highway Administration’s (SHA) long-standing freeway operations and management program. The CHART program maintains division status within the agency and its director reports directly to the Deputy Administrator/Chief Engineer for Operations. One of the most notable aspects of CHART is the composition and role of the CHART Board, consisting of senior technical and operational personnel from SHA, the Maryland Transportation Authority, Maryland State Police, Federal Highway Administration, University of Maryland Center For Advanced Transportation Technology, and various local governments. The Board is chaired by the Deputy Administrator/Chief Engineer for Operations.

New Jersey DOT: Creation of Transportation Systems Management Office. Another example of reorganization from a workshop State is New Jersey DOT (NJDOT), which in 2011 created a new Office of Transportation Systems Management headed by an Executive Director. It consolidated the Division of Traffic Operations and its regional bureaus and the Bureau of Mobility and Systems Engineering (ITS). Close cooperation with the State’s toll road, transit, and law enforcement entities is emphasized. The office reports directly to the Deputy Commissioner (NJDOT’s COO) and was given clear responsibility for all activities related to statewide traffic management, including resource allocation, program evaluation, and budget requests. In 2013, the Executive Director position was elevated to the Assistant Commissioner level.

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